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Square-Enix Sued For "Concealing Monthly Fees"

Well, the fans have finally gotten to Square-Enix. Of course, this isn't about opinion or personal preference; it's about losing money. Nobody likes that.

According to 1Up citing Courthouse News Service, a class action lawsuit has been brought against Square-Enix for "unfair business practices." The plaintiff in the case is Esther Leong of San Francisco, who claims that Square-Enix "lied about or concealed its monthly fees, penalties for late payments, interest, restrictions and other things that should have been fully disclosed at points of purchase" in regards to Final Fantasy XI. She's seeking $5 million in restitution...which seems a touch excessive. We're not entirely sure how Square-Enix concealed this information; for example, if you simply go to the FFXI official site, it tells you in fairly large font that there's a $12.95 monthly fee. But we figure lawyers don't take cases that have no chance (they're smarter than that, right?), and it seems they're going to court. That is, unless they reach an out-of-court settlement, which may indeed happen. Perhaps this will make Square-Enix look very closely at how they go to present Final Fantasy XIV to the masses; this could be one of those "lesson learned" things. Then again, maybe they've done nothing wrong and there will be no lesson. Who knows?

But anyway, we'll be interested to see the final result of this case, and we also want to know the specifics regarding Square-Enix's "failure to disclose" or whatever.

6/25/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (46 posts)

sticklife
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:17:24 AM
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She wants 5 mill for a few bucks in late fees? Man I'd hate to be blockbuster in her neighborhood.

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Gregory Freeman
Friday, June 26, 2009 @ 3:39:29 PM

lol

Block Buster guy: "MKAY, That'll be $12.99, plus the $5 late fee..."
ESTHER CHICK "WHAT!!!! A LATE FEE!!! YOU NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT LATE FEES!!! (Big sign behind the guy that says LATE FEES + Price)
I'LL SUE YOU for 5 mil!!!!!!
Blockbuster guy: **SH!TS PANTS**

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mexgeo86
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:20:52 AM
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I think they'll reach a settlement so as not to set a precedent for future lawsuits/cases. 5 million is indeed high, but as a class action it'd be divided among all prosecutors right?

Also, as pointed by Ben, lawyers don't take on cases they don't think they can win. I'm sure these lawyers would seek a nice payment.

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Arvis
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:26:25 AM
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Ha ha! Squenix deserves it, I don't care if they're in the wrong on this issue or not.

-Arvis

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Kevadu
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:59:18 AM

No matter how you feel about the parties in question stupid lawsuits should never be supported.

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Arvis
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 2:45:30 PM

Don't get me wrong, I never "support" this sort of thing. But that doesn't change how much SE deserves to get screwed over in the worst way.

-Arvis

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BigBoss4ever
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 6:34:02 PM

I hate to the guts about the business practices Square Enix has been adopting over the recent years and I said many times, fire the top business and marketing heads and restore the glory of the Squaresoft.

With that said, I still hope the true talents in the Squaresoft can take charge and the "exiled" talents like Sagaguchi or Nobuo can be called back.

Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 6/25/2009 6:34:58 PM

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Arvis
Friday, June 26, 2009 @ 11:56:07 AM

Uematsu-san hasn't been exiled, as far as I know.

If he has, then I can say without hyperbole that my hatred for SE has just increased by about FIFTY BILLION PERCENT.

-Arvis

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kevinater321
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:27:26 AM
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aha sucks to be them

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killzone100
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:31:34 AM
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simple fix. Dont do monthly fee's.

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Zaben
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:35:30 AM

This.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 1:08:10 PM

Aye

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:42:34 AM
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Yea I don't see why charging a monthly fee to play a game you have already paid $60 bucks for jives. How is it that all the games we play online now through the PSN are free yet Square charges you. Konami doesn't charge a monthly fee for MGO. I don't get it. Hopefuly FFXIV will be different. The monthly sercharge for FFXI is what made me stay away from it. I want to try a MMO game or what ever but not if I have to pay 12 bucks a month.

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Arvis
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:44:32 AM

Ditto.

-Arvis

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Soultaker
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:50:12 AM

Why $15 for WoW? Its basicly to pay for the servers it runs on so they arn't crappy things that lag 24/7

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mexgeo86
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:50:40 AM

Wasn't FFXI on the ps2 like a $100 bundle? I think that kept me from getting it back in the day too.

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 12:16:20 PM

Never wanted to play world of Warcraft. MGO runs fine with no monthly fees. And yes the PS2 FFXI was $100+ for the game and the PS2 modem. Then the monthly fees. No thanks.

Last edited by Jawknee on 6/25/2009 12:17:31 PM

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oldmike
Friday, June 26, 2009 @ 2:58:24 AM

MMOs are unlike all other online games
In a MMO there are 2000+ in a server
to keep it runing it costs a lot last i saw
$5 of the fees is just for bandwith and server upkeep
add in that your geting new stuff all the time
and a good way to meet gamers (think home on crack)
its worth it if the game is FUN and bug free

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Soultaker
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:51:08 AM
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Something i didn't know was if you were late on a payment for FFXI it charged more. I didn't even know that o.o

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Alienange
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 12:42:15 PM
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And it's a woman on top of it ... that's a classic.

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Strker777
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 12:46:43 PM
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Hopefully, this so called "Lawsuit" don't delay anymore games.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 12:50:20 PM
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I have to correct you on one thing Ben. In the USA lawyers do indeed file cases without any real cause or evidence. It's basically a scam where someone targets a company or individual with deep pockets, they find a cause of action, however flimsy it is and file in court. Ask for huge damages, and then they sit back and wait, knowing that a large number of companies and people with deep pockets would rather pay the troll under the bridge than have a drawn out court battle over nothing.

Can we say nuisance lawsuits? Can we say frivolous lawsuits? Yes, we can, but unfortunately as long the plaintiff manages to get a judge to allow their case to proceed, it will keep happening, and some less scrupulous attorneys know it, and take a % of the eventual out of court settlement.

You don't even have to have any real proof of wrong doing for a case to be given the OK to proceed. There are plenty of cases where the person suing has merely alleged that they suspect some wrongdoing, but it was enough to proceed, and the fishing expeditions began. The Linux copyrights/patents case where SCO sued IBM is a perfect example. There was never any evidence of wrong doing. IBM had cast iron licenses to do pretty much whatever it liked with UNIX and LINUX, they hold a huge number of the patents and copyrights involved directly, and yet SCO were still able to drag the case out over years and years of depositions and subpoenas. They were actually demanding something like $5 billion in damages in a case where IBM was basically accused of taking it's own (IBM) program code and implementing it in Linux. The fishing expedition that SCO conducted to try to find anything they could twist to their case was just incredible, the cause of action changes at least four times during the ase since they could not find any evidence they kept amending their complaint. The most incredible twist happened when the actual holder of the copyrights (Novell) in Unix showed up and disputed SCOs right to sue anyone for anything since they don't even own any of the copyrights involved. I believe this case may have finally started to die as SCO essentially spent everything they ever had trying to get IBM to deal with them out of court. But the case is a text book example of a patent troll or nuisance case where the object is not to end up in court in front of a judge and jury, the object is to get the defendant - IBM - to pay a big chunk of change to avoid a protracted and expensive legal battle. By demanding a huge amount in damages they also set the stage for a very large out of court settlement if they can force a settlement.

If I could give anyone legal advice (which I can't since I'm not a lawyer) it would be "Do not ever sue IBM in the hope of settling out of court.". Ibm fought this case tooth and nail and instead of folding it looks like they instead stood proud and crushed SCO for their trouble. Truly, SCO deserved to be crushed.

Anyway, sorry for the long example, but I agree with you I can't see how any individual person could sue SE over FFXI monthly fees and expect either success or huge damages.

Wanna bet that this is some incredibly trivial legalese thing that that amounts to $0.50 or less per subscriber per month over some period of time, and by the time you multiply that by the number of class action plaintiffs you arrive at the damages figure they quote. I've never understood why people bring those cases, it leads to thousands of people being sent checks for $3.75 or whatever. A total waste of everyone's time over money that would barely cover a gallon of milk.

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 1:19:46 PM

Guess which political party protects these trial lawyers.

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Zemus101
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 2:36:57 PM

Suing McDonalds for making them fat ....it's the same idea :P

Or I think another one was suing Tim Hortons for making their coffee too hot. Maybe only us Canadians would know that one.

Last edited by Zemus101 on 6/25/2009 2:42:04 PM

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Highlander
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 3:10:08 PM

@Zemus

Someone sued McDonalds over the temperature of their coffee also. Everyone laughs because common sense tells us that a hot drink shouldn't be placed in the lap when driving. However in the plaintiff's favor is the fact that coffee at McDonalds is (was at the time) served at a 3rd degree burn inducing 190 Fahrenheit or more or less 95C.

The plaintiff actually won. But all everyone talks about is the nonsensical idea of suing someone because their hot coffee was too hot.

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kevinater321
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 9:38:44 PM

haha i remeber that tim hortons one, does anyone remeber that guy that sued the korean people because on there dry cleaning buisness window it said will be ready in one day but it was ready in two or something. The Korean people didn't know what the sign ment because they coudn't read english and they just imigrated to Canada.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 1:08:21 PM
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lol squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeenix

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tes37
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 2:15:42 PM
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They should give her a pair of glasses instead of money.

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LowKey
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 2:18:51 PM
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HAHAAAA GO ESTHER!!! hows it feel to have someone money grub SE? you know like you did with microsoft, that $5mill deserves to go back to the players thats 5 mill that they made from PS2 games that they sold and then took that money and used it to start developing for microsoft. and there are a few really good free MMO's out there. you just have to download them, sign up to the site and your good to go. Shaiya was my favorite, but I quit just a month ago cause im playing Sacred 2 now, Runes of Magic, and perfect world Inernational were pretty awesome too, and you never have to spen a cent, EVER!!, you can if you wish to to buy points from each respective site so you can buy special items but you dont have to because you can buy those items off of people in game for the gold you get from killing Monsters.

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Highlander
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 3:13:19 PM
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Incidentally, since this is a comment stream for a news item about SquEnix, did anyone else read the reports that The Last Remnant is pretty much confirmed as NOT coming to PS3?

Apparently the game wasn't very profitable, and they're scared about the costs of bringing it to the PS3.

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Jawknee
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 3:22:27 PM

The game never interested me. I didn't know it wasn't on PS3 until they said it might not be made.

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King James
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 4:28:55 PM

yea I laughed. SE comedy is the best.

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LowKey
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 3:24:20 PM
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Well if theyre scared about costs of bringing it to PS3, they should'nt have released it for 360 first, now should they have? If it was made for the PS3 first, I bet they would have put alot more thought into it and it probably would have been a better game and it would have sold alot better, then it would have been cheaper to port to the 360 if they so wished. They diddn't think with thier heads, they thought with thier wallets.

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King James
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 4:18:10 PM
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"...penalties for late payments, interest, restrictions"

I don't remember any of that. I just remember paying the monthly fee. Nothing about late charges, interest, and restrictions. WTF?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 4:38:41 PM
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Esther was the ugly girl who found you a racing chocobo in FFVII ;)

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 6/25/2009 4:41:29 PM

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robinhood2010
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 6:22:14 PM

That is true, although I was never sure if Esther was actually a dude...some other NPCs made some funny comments.

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Qwarktast1c
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 6:35:21 PM

lol thats true

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oldmike
Friday, June 26, 2009 @ 3:03:25 AM

ahh so thats why shes realy doing it they made fun of her

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Jian2069
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 10:25:01 PM
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That's rediculous. Whoever decided to sue them out of their own stupidity should be booted in the face(female or otherwise)

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Kangasfwa
Thursday, June 25, 2009 @ 11:55:28 PM
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Behold: the new American dream (winning stupid lawsuits)

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WolfCrimson
Friday, June 26, 2009 @ 1:22:11 AM
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Although I'm not american (and never will be), I think that they should make a law to avoid this kind of nonsense.

Last edited by WolfCrimson on 6/26/2009 1:22:50 AM

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Jawknee
Friday, June 26, 2009 @ 1:38:33 PM

Were trying but the neo-marxists in the democrat party protect these practices by trial lawyers. You see Corporations are evil. Not people. *sarcasm*

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Xzer0
Friday, June 26, 2009 @ 12:37:12 PM
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It is all because of common law system. In some terms it is good but it is old. To WolfCrimson - to do that law, they need some precedent that would refer to some nonsense case and then if the plaintif wins then in common law system will be created new precedent which restricts those cases. But it is not possible it would create such a mess. Thanks to common law in every state and country with that system is some stupid laws, because of stupid precedents.
I beleive thaht this time SQ will lose if they had not inform it on the Game DVD case or in the game or in the contract agreement if there is not such information then bye bye 5 mills and America will have another millioner. I think if SQ will tell thaht they had such info but only on internet page then this info would not save them. Such info must be written in agreement, or in product, but internet page is not a necessary part of product.

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ohmikkie
Friday, June 26, 2009 @ 3:46:52 PM
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Being someone who've never played an FF game. I don't get it.

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Naga
Saturday, June 27, 2009 @ 3:51:07 PM
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Hey wait can I sue Burger King for the wrong drink??
So basically bitch is just only just a idiot sue her instead the law lets ya

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DeathOfChaos
Monday, June 29, 2009 @ 2:11:13 PM
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This lady is just wanting money, and lots of it. Damn fucking bitch.

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